Notes to readers of this Blog


Thank you for dropping by to check out my blog. You will see a lot of other Blogs about birds I follow down the left hand side. I strongly encourage you to check some of these out as well, they are entertaining and I love to see birds from all over the world, I hope you do too.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Woodland Trail, Simpsons Gap

I returned to the Woodlands Trail at Simpsons Gap where I had been with my son a little while ago, to see how the land was recovering after the recent fires, and which, if any, birds had either survived or moved in since my last visit.
I was pleased to hear and see the fairy-wrens in the initial 300 metres of the walk. Upon coming to the riverbed crossing, I could hear Rainbow Bee-eaters, and saw what I thought was probably one of them going into a tree hollow about half way up the tree. Not a bee-eater as it turned out, but a Red-backed Kingfisher, and it turned out that a pair of them had a nest I think with young inside although I didn't ever see the young:

The nest is the dark hole in the centre of the photo.

I waited for a little while a bit closer but they are pretty good at patience as a hunter so I figured I could be there all day and they still wouldn't have come back to the nest if they were just building and not feeding.

Next was a wonderful experience with a Nankeen Kestrel. It was sitting high in one of the large river gums beyond the riverbed:
We were both watching each other, but this bird knew something I didn't. As I started walking along the path after I took this photo, a large grasshopper sprung from the bush next to me towards the large redgum. I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, and the Nankeen swooped down to within 5 metres of me, grabbed the hopper and flew off. Did I get a photo? No! I thought afterwards how beautiful the photo could have been, but was so awestruck by the grace and skill of the Kestrel the thought of photography only entered my head after the event.

I continued on and eventually came across a few Rainbow Bee-eaters who seemed fairly happy for me to be within 20 metres:

Further along the hillside, I could hear what I thought were Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes and sure enough I came across three, 2 of which were immatures, and one of these obligingly flew up into a tree nearby:
Back into some more mulga woodland as I rounded the side of the hill and stumbled upon a Grey Shrike-thrush:
a Red-capped Robin:
and an Inland Thornbill:

The scrub around Simpsons Gap looked both desolately burnt and healthy and green at the same time as the new shoots are starting to appear on both the trees and the ground. Hopefully with a little rain it will be back to its thriving self again in no time. In the meantime, this is what it looks like now from the hillside on the trail looking towards Simpsons Gap:

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